For two decades governments have been signing agreements where they promise to curb corruption and halt the international flow of illicit funds. A promise, however, is only as good as the method for enforcing it, and in the case of international conventions and treaties the only method available is the peer review. Experts from neighboring or similarly situated nations review how well the government is keeping its promises, recommending ways it can do better and sometimes chastising it for breaking its promises. The theory is that threat of a bad review will put pressure on a government to live up to its commitments.
Peer reviews come in various shapes and sizes, and experience with ones has shown that some are more effective than others. At the request of High-Level Panel on International Financial Accountability, Transparency and Integrity for Achieving the 2030 Agenda Financing for Sustainable Development (FACTI), Valentina Carraro, Lecturer in International Relations at the University of Groningen, and Hortense Jongen, Assistant Professor in International Relations at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, reviewed the effectiveness of the peer review mechanisms of six of the most important anticorruption and financial integrity agreements:
- the Implementation Review Mechanism of the United Nations Convention against Corruption,
- the Follow-Up Mechanism for the Implementation of the Inter-American Convention against Corruption (MESICIC),
- the Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development Working Group on Bribery (OECD Antibribery Convention),
- the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes,
- the Inclusive Framework on Base Erosion and Profit Shifting,
- the Financial Action Task Force and the Financial Action Task Force-Style Regional Bodies.
Their summary of their findings and recommendations is below. and their paper here. (Background on the FACTI and a link to its interim report recommending changes in international and domestic laws to combat corruption and stem illicit financial flows is here.)Continue reading